I have great admiration for those who are willing to take on additional jobs to supplement their income during bad times. Last weekend, I was at the night market and saw happy young kids passing by me with floating balloons in their little hands. There were balloons of Doremon, Sponge Bob and other cartoon characters.
As I walked further down, I saw a young man holding a bunch of balloons for sale (picture on the right- sorry for the photo quality)- the cost of these balloons were not much- and they can be inflated and deflated again and again. He probably could have easily sold 10 or more within one hour. And kids who bought them became walking advertisements, tempting other kids and having parents buying for them.Perhaps there may be fear of what others might say, especially if we hold respectable office jobs. But being afraid of what others may say or think doesn’t pay the bills or the kids education. Others point of view is no consolation to a hungry stomach and overdue bills.
In Singapore, often you will find senior citizens working in food courts or McDonalds to earn extra income. Recently at my gym, there is this cleaner, who from her demeanor and way of dressing, I could tell that she’s much qualified to be just a cleaner. She went about doing her jobs quietly, and kept the place quite clean- every time I see her at the gym, she’s always holding a cloth and cleaning something. She seemed to be more responsible than the other cleaners that I’ve seen.
Here are just a few ideas on ways to earn an honest buck:
1. Become a part time agent selling products like unit trust or insurance.
Usually you will need to have some basic qualification in order to qualify to be an agent. The course fees and materials are generally subsidized so that you only pay a nomimal fee. Not only that, you will learn new knowledge along the way. For some who want to consider joining direct selling companies, you get to pick up a lot of sales skills, even though eventually you can’t sell the products (read my past article: Can Joining Direct Selling Companies Make You Big Bucks?)
2. Give tuition class to students/children.
If you enjoy teaching, you can give tuition to primary or secondary school students. Get to know the syllabus really well and buy good reference books for students. I have a friend who is a full time home tuition teacher- and she earned quite a good income- tax free, that is.
3. Selling edible items or catering
If you are a good cook, then you can bake cookies, muffins or cakes and sell them. You can start by offering to bake or cook for a large gathering or give out free sample of the food. Make it known that you are open to orders- you can invest in some namecards or a brochure, a blog or website. If you do not want to pay for domain name and hosting, you can use a free template like Blogger.
4. Income stream through the internet
if you have the interest and knowledge, you can set up websites for others. Remember, if you plan to earn a living blogging or through internet, it takes time to establish the traffic- there are some SEO black hats (meaning dishonest ways of earning a living from stealing other people’s content and plastering advertisement, among other things)- but this cannot produce long term gain- and there’s such thing as kamma.
5. Expanding on your skills to earn extra income
For instance, a truck mechanic can service the employees’ cars after office hours to earn extra income so long as he does not utilize parts, oil, filter, etc paid by the company. If your extra income stream is related to your work, draw a clear line between business and personal- because a lot of companies have strict policies that can result in immediate termination. You need to be clear of what you can do or cannot do.
Read my previous article: Jobless in a land of plenty?